#040 – Surprised by Hope by N.T. Wright (Pt 15 – Future Now Pt 1) [Podcast]

So how can we learn to live as wide-awake people, as Easter people? Here I have some bracing suggestions to make. I have come to believe that many churches simply throw Easter away year by year; and I want to plead that we rethink how we do it so as to help each other, as a church and as individuals, to live what we profess.

Future Now

Future Now

I am speaking here particularly from, and to, the church I know best. Those who celebrate in other ways will, I think, be able to make appropriate adjustments and take whatever they need to apply to their own situations.

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#039 – Surprised by Hope by N.T. Wright (Pt 14 – Missions Historically) [Podcast]

If today’s, and tomorrow’s, church is to engage in this kind of mission, seeking both to implement the achievement of Jesus and his resurrection and thereby to anticipate the final renewal of all things, it must itself be renewed, resourced, and reshaped for this mission. What will this look like?  What about missions historically in the early church?

Missions Historically

Missions Historically

It is vital that we address this question in terms of the scriptural witness to the resurrection and the way in which, in the Bible itself, this witness is directly translated into mission and the life of the church. The present chapter will therefore examine briefly the gospels, Acts, and Paul with this in mind, and in the final chapter we shall apply this to specific issues in the life of the church.

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#038 – Surprised by Hope by N.T. Wright (Pt 13 – Building for the Kingdom) [Podcast]

Many people, faced with the challenge to work for God’s kingdom in the present, will at once object. “Doesn’t that sound,” they will ask, “as though you’re trying to build God’s kingdom by your own efforts?” Well, if it does sound like that, I’m sorry. It wasn’t meant like that. Perhaps some further clarification is needed.

Building the Kingdom

Building the Kingdom

Let’s be quite clear on two points. First, God builds God’s kingdom. But God ordered his world in such a way that his own work within that world takes place not least through one of his creatures in particular, namely, the human beings who reflect his image. That, I believe, is central to the notion of being made in God’s image. God intends his wise, creative, loving presence and power to be reflected—imaged, if you like—into his world through his human creatures. He has enlisted us to act as his stewards in the project of creation. And, following the disaster of rebellion and corruption, he has built into the gospel message the fact that through the work of Jesus and the power of the Spirit, he equips humans to help in the work of getting the project back on track. So the objection about us trying to build God’s kingdom by our own efforts, though it seems humble and pious, can actually be a way of hiding from responsibility, of keeping one’s head well down when the boss is looking for volunteers. Not that one can go on eluding God’s call forever…but still.

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#037 – Surprised by Hope by N.T. Wright (Pt 12 – Rethinking Salvation) [Podcast]

We have now reached the point where we must ask: So what? Is all this talk about God’s ultimate future, about “life after life after death,” simply a matter of tidying up our beliefs about what will happen in the very end, or does it have any practical consequences here and now? Is it simply a matter of getting our teaching and preaching right and of ordering our funerals and other liturgies so that they reflect biblical teaching about death and what lies beyond instead of nonbiblical and even antibiblical ideas that have crept into the church here and there?

Rethinking Salvation

Rethinking Salvation

Yes, there is a promised rest after the labors of this life, and the word heaven may be an appropriate, though vague, way of denoting where this rest takes place. But this time of rest is the prelude to something very different, which will emphatically involve earth as well. Earth—the renewed earth—is where the reign will take place, which is why the New Testament regularly speaks not of our going to be where Jesus is but of his coming to where we are, as we saw in the previous part of the book. When we get this, we must rethink everything we’ve thought about in terms of evangelism, missions, and even salvation itself.

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